What is Business Banking?
For most small- and medium-sized businesses, keeping their business financial transactions separate from their personal banking is critical.
Accounts that are solely used for business purposes can ease tax time burdens and make it easier to predict profits and losses as your business grows.
Below, we’ll go over the the top banking choices for small business and help you find the right one for you.
Business Banking Products
Most banks offer specialized business banking products like checking accounts and credit cards with special features designed for businesses only.
The business accounts that you need will depend somewhat on the size of your business as well as the type of business you’re in.
Common business banking products include:
- Deposit accounts: checking and savings accounts, ACH and wire transfers, online banking or mobile banking.
- Merchant services: e-commerce solutions, point of sale (POS) systems, customization by industry.
- Cash flow management: accounts payable and receivable processing tools.
- Financing: credit cards, lines of credit, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, equipment financing, mortgages and other real estate services.
- Investment and insurance: fraud and risk management, succession planning, property and casualty insurance.
- Upgraded support: premier one-on-one customer support for businesses (offered by most banks).
- Other perks: non-financial benefits like employee benefits administration (offered by some banks).
Be advised that there can be downsides to business banking products, too:
- Because businesses do larger transactions at a much higher volume than personal accounts, banks tend to limit daily transactions or charge fees on them.
- Although business savings accounts generate interest, it’s rare that business checking accounts will earn interest.
- You might also pay higher monthly maintenance fees, loan rates, or credit card interest rates than you would pay on your personal accounts.
Popular Business Banking Services
We’ve researched and ranked the most popular business banking services below to help you find the right accounts for your business.
SunTrust is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and was founded in 1891. They offer various checking accounts, including analyzed accounts and basic checking with a low $5 monthly fee.
They have financing products, credit cards, and POS systems. With SunTrust Online Courier, you get cash management and payroll information automatically delivered to your desktop as soon as it’s available.
SunTrust’s has a lot of helpful content for small business owners in the form of podcasts and best practices articles.
Unique feature: SunTrust offers Direct Connect with QuickBooks, which means your accounting system is always synchronized with your banking information.
US Bank opened in 1863 in Ohio. They offer a variety of checking accounts, including analyzed accounts and one for nonprofits. They have options for credit cards that include airline miles, cash back, and reward points.
US Bank uses Zelle for mobile deposits and other common transactions like splitting a restaurant bill. They also have specialized accounts for medical practices.
Unique feature: Security is so important to US Bank, it’s been named to the Ethisphere Institute’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the last five years in a row.
PNC Bank has an extensive number of business banking offerings and even offers businesses $200 to open a checking account. You can also get $500 for switching your credit card processing systems to theirs.
They offer online bill pay, mobile deposits, treasury management services, and payroll. PNC will even help you file your taxes.
PNC caters to industry-specific needs like healthcare, agricultural, attorneys, real estate, and universities. PNC has special programs for women in business and veteran-owned businesses.
Unique feature: PNC’s Cash Flow Insight is a proprietary set of tools that give businesses more control of their cash management.
Santander started in Spain but now has a footprint in the northeastern United States. They offer all the standard business banking services, plus customized cash management for very small or very large businesses.
They have multiple ways to make deposits including mobile devices, lockboxes, and even armored transportation to your door. Note, however, that mobile banking comes with fees that some other banks don’t charge.
They have an extensive resources hub called Business First, which is an online magazine with advice and how-to articles.
Unique feature: Santander’s global reach means they can offer foreign exchange (FX) services in multiple currencies. They can also provide letters of credit to your foreign trade partners.
Wells Fargo started up in San Francisco in 1852, servicing what was then the Wild West.
Along with traditional banking services, Wells Fargo provides visual spending management with “My Money Map” and banking via text message.
Merchant services can provide point of sale equipment and will give you $100 to start or $500 to switch. You can customize your debit and credit cards with your business logo or a photo.
Wells Fargo’s “Control Tower” app helps secure all your accounts, card numbers, and data across devices.
Unique feature: Wells Fargo has an interactive tool that can help you create a business plan.
BBVA, which stands for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, is a global bank headquartered in Spain that was founded 150 years ago.
BBVA offers the typical suite of business deposit products. Their most expensive monthly fee for checking is $25. They offer standard financing products like loans, lines of credit, and credit cards.
Unique feature: BBVA’s mid-tier business checking lets you choose two premier checking features to customize your account. Their credit card comes with no annual fee.
TD Bank customizes your business account experience by focusing on three different stages: starting, growing, and selling your business.
Since TD Bank is associated with TD Ameritrade, they have a variety of business investment accounts like brokerage services, retirement planning, and philanthropic planning. TD Bank also offers HR and payroll services.
If you bundle products with them, you get better perks, like no monthly fees on any of your accounts.
Unique feature: TB Bank offers specialized products for healthcare practices like doctors and dentists.
Chase Bank leverages its global presence to offer almost any business banking product you’ll need.
In particular, they offer 6 different kinds of credit cards for businesses that offer rewards, cash back, or no fees. They partner with JPMorgan Chase for investment products.
Chase can hook you up with equipment financing as well as hardware and software for point-of-purchase equipment like credit card terminals.
Their blog has dozens of resources for any business phase, including marketing, productivity tips, industry-specialized posts, and social media help.
Unique feature: Chase has special banking programs and bonuses for black, women, and veteran-owned businesses.
Bank of America
Bank of America is the second largest bank in the US, originally founded in 1784. In addition to typical deposit and loan offerings, you get expense tracking and QuickBooks integration to help with your accounting.
Fees for checking start at $16 but can be avoided by using your debit and credit cards or by keeping a minimum average balance.
Perks for businesses include cash management and point of purchase hardware and software. Bank of America offers retirement savings via Merrill Edge.
Unique feature: JD Power certified Bank of America’s mobile app for providing “an outstanding mobile banking customer experience.”
Which Bank is Right for Your Business?
For startup companies, you’ll likely want a bank that has access to large amounts of funds as you scale, like PNC Bank or Chase Bank. Small businesses can get up and running quickly with US Bank or tie into SunTrust’s Direct Connect to keep track of finances. Medium-sized businesses that have established infrastructures and global aspirations could choose Santander or BBVA. *
* Disclaimer: Digital.com earns a commission from referring visitors to products, software, and services using affiliate partnerships. To learn more, please see our full disclosure about how this site is funded. The opinions expressed here are of the author, and should not be taken as financial advice.
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